Rabbit Ears…Not Just For OVERSENSITIVE Politicians Anymore!
By Dante Vitoria August 8, 2017
Remember, back in the Good ol’ days (I know you’re thinking, “Oh, NO Vitoria, not another fond memory of your childhood in Brooklyn again!”) when we didn’t have cable TV? We had channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13, oh and one other thing…Rabbit Ears! Yes, the antenna “Rabbit Ears”, fastened to the back of the TV sets. Some worked, most didn’t and needed the aluminum foil wrap to get a clearer picture, but ultimately, it was “better than no TV” at all! And, as so often occurs (convertibles, tight suits and narrow ties, Motown songs, hair styles, etc. What is “old” becomes new again.
And, no to all you “hipsters” you did not invent any of these things. The Rabbit Ears are on the return! Take a look at Dan Sisco, a grad student from Utah. He had a bunch of the guys over to watch the Super Bowl in 2014. They watched the game streaming online and were stunned to learn one key component of the Super Bowl experience…no commercials! When you watch events streaming online, you do not get the “broadcast feed”, so no broadcast commercials! So, Dan, being an industrious sort of fellow, he did some research and purchased an antenna for $20.00. Now, he can see not only the Super Bowl but the commercials as well! Dan also found out that in 2009, Federal legislation was passed that all broadcasters send out High Definition signals as opposed to analog signals.
What is the significance of that legislation? Older TV sets could not pick up the analog signal and owners were basically “forced” to subscribe to a cable or “pay” service. So, for $20 bucks, Dan got the best of BOTH worlds…and saved some bucks! My cable TV package is about $250/month (maybe I am not as smart as you THINK I am) …just saying! In essence, broadcast TV is free! Now this, added to the increasing number of subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Sling and a number of other services similar and the increase in streaming services and end users, the television industry is facing something they have not ever seen, a decline in paid subscriptions, on a monthly basis. According to the Consumer Technology Association, there was a 7% increase in these services last month.
This has the cable television’s attention (and a TIP from yours truly.) If you are thinking about changing cable service providers, now may be an advantageous time to do so. Call and NEGOTIATE! Believe me, it works if it is done properly. Ask for an advertised package, and tell them you will take it, BUT you want it for 24 months not the 12 months offered. It will SAVE you money (one of my FAVORITE ACTIVITIES). Many people are unaware of this trick. And 29% of Americans did not know about the 2009 legislation either! But not knowing, is no excuse! Now, you KNOW! Many people are unaware of this situation and have been paying for cable services that they did not actually want (how many channels do you pay for as opposed to how many do you actually watch) or worse, they are paying for a service they can’t afford! Typical, right?
Well, perhaps, as Bob Dylan sang (a LONG TIME AGO) “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”
Dante Vitoria is the Founder and CEO of The Vitoria Group in New York City.